Los Lagos What to do?

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This topic contains 108 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 9 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #52549
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    Anonymous
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    I have posted before and over the last few months I have been reading the articles with interest. I am sure that I am not alone as to finding the whole situation difficult to comprehend whist being astounded at the catalogue of failures involved at pretty much every stage of the purchase process.

    I thought it may be helpful to others to post my current situation as no doubt there are others in almost an identical situation. I appreciate some of the issues raised below will have been discussed before but hopefully this will aggregate all of the “live” issues that I am encountering just now.

    By way of background

    I purchased an off plan penthouse apartment in Los Lagos, Santa Maria de Golf in March of 2003 with an expectation of a completed development in June 2005.

    My agents and in conjunction with the lawyer explained the position with off plan developments and the guarantees available to purchasers and I was comforted sufficiently to advance a 30% deposit on the property.

    The years passed and there were delays and the delivery date of the completed property was going to be late. I was unconcerned as I was “guaranteed” and in any event the property would be appreciating in the interim. My initial plan had been to sell the property as an investment prior to completion in order to make a profit and the delay seemed to be working in my favour. As a precaution I put a mortgage facility in place and it was only when the bank carried out a valuation that the dreaded PGOU term came to my attention. No mortgage as the property was illegal.

    At that stage I then had a bucket load of inconvenience but still did not feel exposed. Of course this was not the case, as with many of you my lawyers had not properly obtained a bank guarantee from the developer. My understanding is that the off plan developer must provide a guarantee by law and how a lawyer can progress contracts and pass monies to the developer with this surety in place is quite frankly beyond me. With the contract and correspondence between developer and lawyer in Spanish I assumed, as it had been discussed between us, the guarantee was secured. The fact that so many purchasers seems to be in this situation is quite incredible.

    Of course when I have questioned the lawyer they have side stepped this issue on many occasions and only in the last few days have they admitted that there was never a bank guarantee in place on my property.

    My options are to either attempt to resolve the contract, the lawyer quotes an 80% chance of success, or to complete sometime in 2007 when the property becomes legalised.

    I am informed by the lawyer that even if a guarantee had been in place it would now be worthless as the bank is refusing to pay it on the basis that the development is complete and that there are people living there. Can anyone shed any light on this statement as it certainly does not ring true to me?

    The posts on the forum about 90% of the properties being legalized after the May elections is encouraging to many as it will allow completion however the deflated state of the property market and the inevitable glut of properties that will arrive on the market at the same time does not bode well for property prices in the short to medium term.

    Has anyone purchasing in Los Lagos been paid by enforcing the guarantee? I know that there were some people who were repaid but I am unsure if they related to this developer/ development

    Can the lawyer be held to account for not obtaining the guarantee and if so what is the process. Has anyone proceeded down this route and if so how did they get on?

    Best regards to everyone who is in my situation or something similar. I hope a satisfactory solution is not too far away

  • #68312
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    “I am informed by the lawyer that even if a guarantee had been in place it would now be worthless as the bank is refusing to pay it on the basis that the development is complete and that there are people living there. Can anyone shed any light on this statement as it certainly does not ring true to me”?

    This is a favourite ‘ploy’ of developers and bad lawyers and is certainly not true.
    The intent of the Bank Guarantee law (ley 57/68) is very clear – it is to protect your money until the day of completion at the notary office, when all required documentation is in place…..including that elusive Licence of First Occupation.

    Los Lagos does not have this LFO, which means the Town Hall has not inspected it yet/certified it as legally habitable.
    In fact the building licence is currently under suspension and has no LFO, so completing on this development is obviously out of the question.

    Get yourself a good (unbiased, independent) lawyer – with this particular developer, going to court is the only way you will ever get your money back.

  • #68313
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Sorry about the blokey with the sunglasses in the middle of my post.
    I didn’t put him there and have tried to edit him out but he won’t move. 😯

    Where his head is, is supposed to be the number eight.

  • #68401
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Paul
    I am new to this forum I was researching trying to find info on the current state of affairs in Los Lagos and came across this site and forum.
    We are in the same position as yourself with the purchase of an apartment in Los Lagos, we put 30% deposit down in april 2003 and still in limbo!
    We received a letter from our Spanish lawyer last week giving us options of completing or court action to get our deposit back. If we start court action this could take 15 months to resolve and he can not guarantee success, this action will incur legal fees. He apparently is representing 7 purchasers who is in the same situation as ourselves and if all of us instruct this lawyer he will represent us for a reduced fee of E4,160 per person. To start the legal action he is looking for E2,490 up front! (May be you are one of the seven)!!!
    We are now considering going down this route as like yourself nearly 4 years later we are no further forward with our purchase of Los Lagos
    With regard to the bank guarantee, we need to question the lawyer on this
    I will let you know how we get on

  • #68404
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    Anonymous
    Participant
  • #68437
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ann and Paul- Hello. I am also purchasing at Los Lagos. I have had several meetings with my lawyer discussing the various issues. The trouble is that the sitiuation is so complex and nobody really knows for sure what will happen. We discussed going to court to recover the money. The risky side of this is that while the case goes to court, which will take many months, the developer gets the licences issued and we lose our court case. Personally I would like to complete and think everything will turn out o.k in the long run, so at the moment I am sitting on the fence.
    Ann, why do you have to pay the lawyer so much money upfront?

  • #68439
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you Paul for that, I found it very interesting and helpful.

    In answer to your question Laggen this is the amount the lawyer specified in his last correspondence to us, he has suggested as there is seven purchasers in the same situation and if all seven instruct him to proceed with legal action this cost would be a reduced fee.
    If an agreement is made with the developer before an award is issued and we complete we will not need to pay the second part of the legal fee.
    Like you we are not sure what to do, take the legal route or just sit on the fence like yourself.
    It is a very frustrating situation as we did not buy from the developer we bought from a resale and we do not benefit from a bank guarantee as far as I am aware.

  • #68441
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @paul smith wrote:

    Has anyone purchasing in Los Lagos been paid by enforcing the guarantee? I know that there were some people who were repaid but I am unsure if they related to this developer/ development

    Paul, I do know that some purchasers at Los Lagos have received their deposits back – though I understand this was by their lawyers doing some “hard” negotiation with the developers. It was not through the courts or via enforcing Bank Guarantees and I understand that no interest was paid.

    Re. your lawyer being ‘held to account’ for not obtaining a Bank Guarantee for you.
    Morally and officially he should be as it was your legal right by law to have one. However I know of someone who made a formal complaint to the Colegio de Abogados on this subject and the reply from them was “In our view they haven’t broken any of our rules”.
    So i gather recourse on this is virtually impossible.

  • #68502
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    Anonymous
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    Charlie thanks for your post on Sat Jan 13. I do agree that there is a professional obligation on the lawyer to secure the Guarantee. This is the only reason I agreed to proceed; against a surety that if things go wrong there is always the fall back of the Guarantee. I made this point very clear to the lawyer at the time of signing up. The problem is with all contracts in Spanish it was not obvious if this was covered in the normal conveyancing – I only wish I went to the expense of translating contracts.

    You are correct about the intent of the guarantee. I have a very good case against him for failing to secure me the guarantee which might be the better of my options given the risks in pursuing an action against the developer for late delivery. Even if professional negligence is established, my fear is with Banco Popular refusing to honour guarantees, a legal challenge against the lawyer might be futile if a Spanish court rules something along the lines that the lawyer is not financially responsible because even if he had secured the guarantee, the bank is not paying out so how can you hold the lawyer financially responsible! I don’t believe this would happen in a UK court of law but I don’t trust Spanish law. This is why I am desperate to learn if anyone has been successful with a claim against the guarantee then I can proceed with a professional negligence claim against my lawyer with more confidence.

    Ann; Given Los Lagos is likely now to be licensed after the May election and at “worst before 18months following May” my fear is any action against the developer is likely to take longer than this and if the case calls in court after the development has become licensed, the courts might be entitled to rule although late, it is now licensed so you must complete.

    To all my friends in the same predicament this might well be a fait accompli; we might have no other choice than to complete whenever the development is licensed. However given the current market conditions, the stigma attached to this development, I doubt very much, nay I’m certain our apartments will be worth nothing near the value we paid for them at the top of the market. Indeed it may take many many years for this to even itself out. A Spanish based property expert told me 3 years to 5 years minimum just to get the value back and this is in a good property market.

    Is anyone else got the feeling that the development as built is not what you thought you were getting? When I paid the deposit and looked at the model and sales literature in the sales office, Los Lagos was represented as a much more up-market development than is now complete. The colour on the model was not terracotta; the apartment appears much smaller than represented. When I was buying I was taken to a show-apartment near the sales office which the developer had completed a year or so earlier and the dimensions (as I recall them) were bigger than ours and the finishes of a higher quality. Is this just my feeling or does anyone else share this view? If so I wonder if a class action against the developer for not delivering the correct product might just put a spoke in the wheels of his plans. They must be feeling rather confident right now knowing the development will become licensed after 18 months longest and it is likely they can force the hand of everyone to settle or keep our deposits and resell the apartments. But, I ask, what if a class action was raised for them failing to deliver what was represented. If anyone has a view on this please let me know.

  • #68538
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Paul,
    Ther are several people who use the forum who have bought at Los Lagos. Some I know are in the process of a Court procedure. The best way ahead is to contact these people, (You need to trawl the forum topic index)and pool your knowledge/experience. It is the best way forward, from experience. A gentleman called me yesterday and his situation mirrors your own. I suggested he registers on the forum and contact you by PM. Maybe he has. You have a more “powerful” force if there are a group of you confronting the developer, preferably using the same lawyer. Through experience, it appears that the Judicial system in Spain do not accept class actions. Our lawyer tried this and was told “each case was individual and had to be treated as such”. To go jointly with other purchasers can save a lot in legal fees. I really wish you good luck.

  • #69070
    Profile photo of redpip
    redpip
    Participant

    Laggon
    I put this same point to my lawyer. Developer gets his licence during the court case, which incidently will cost me 30,000 euros if I loose. I was told it wouldn’t make any difference as the developer was in breech of contract on several counts.

  • #69074
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi redpip,

    Developer gets his licence during the court case,

    This was discussed when several people from Los Lagos attended a meeting with their lawyer . The lawyer said that if the court action had already begun before the LFO was granted it can not go against your case.(retrospectively) He also said more or less the same as your lawyer about breach of contract.

  • #69090
    Profile photo of redpip
    redpip
    Participant

    Hi Claire Thanks for clearing that up for me I am about to trade in my lawyer for a new independant one,who is actually going to be on my side. At present im told ..no point in taking dev. to court they havent got any money..and you should complete now or you could lose the apt. I think its time to move on.

  • #69091
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @redpip wrote:

    At present im told ..no point in taking dev. to court they havent got any money…

    I think your lawyer is right about that too! 🙁

  • #69092
    Profile photo of redpip
    redpip
    Participant

    Hi Paul.

    Your situation also mirrors mine and many others I wonder if it would be a good idea to exchange lawyers details by pm , also Laggen and Ann. Could this be a way forward to helping each other I am terrified of the prospect of losing the above sum of money on a no win verdict. Anns lawyer says 8o% chance of winning in court , is it enough? I dont think so. The question is If a settlement out of court doesnt work,do you drop it? or march off to court with Bank Manager on tow.

    Also why dont we exchange losers costs , see if they tally.

  • #70010
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Has anyone had any recent news on Los Lagos? I have received an email from my Lawyer to inform me that the people that we purchased the property from as it was a resale, they are requesting us to go to completion sign the title deeds and pay the balance of the purchase price.
    If we do not complete within 6 weeks they will instigate legal action in order to cancel the contract and take the amount paid as compensation for damages. The Lawyer has said we need to decide whether we want to complete and take possession or wait and reply to the court action.
    Has anyone had this put to them??? Has anyone any ideas of what I should do bearing in mind I havnt spoke to the Lawyer yet as I have just received this email Any advice would be appreciated!

  • #70011
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Ann- Latest from Los Lagos is that the water and electricity has been connected up with private contracts. This is good news. I have gone ahead to complete and feel happy with that. I don´t know how successful a court action would be at this stage. In the view of the developer he has built and finished the apartments and is now paying out a lot of money each month to cover mortgages etc. As far as I know, the area where Los Lagos is built was for town houses and villas, the developer asked for building licence for apartments and got that. At the end of the day, the developer has done nothing wrong since they got a go ahead from the Town Hall, so any come back from the developer seems remote, but I might be wrong. The other side is that the developer might go bust which would put the apartments in real danger if you have not completed. He might be incredibly wealthy so this might not happen, he is the only one who knows. This is just my own personal feelings about it. Hopefully you have a good lawyer that can advice you and do everything he can to protect your interests. Altough the development looks nothing like it did on the plan in the office, it does look good and is very well cared for with cleaners and garders around.

  • #70012
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Laggen Well done that you have completed but have you got the licence? Did you stay with the same lawyer ? Its the licence that worries me as well as the fact that we could loose our hefty deposit. I will speak to my spanish lawyer today and let you know how I get on.

  • #70013
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ann
    You will get the B.L
    Some on this forum are now starting to see that the option to complete is the only option.
    I have completed and I am delighted with my apartment ,in fact could not be happier.
    There are one or two developments to worry about but not this one.
    NEW PROPERTY OWNER ELVIRIA

  • #70014
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ann, you are right to be cautious.

    There is no guarantee that Los Lagos or other developments in the area will be granted the very important LFO. The original building licence was not for apartment blocks, only Town Houses/villas. The corrupt Town Hall of the time(Jesus Gil) gave “permission” for apartments. It’s now forms part of the many developments under investigation connected to the “Malaya” case.
    Hopefully for all concerned, this matter will draw to a successful conclusion and the LFO will be granted. Let’s face it, they either have to grant the LFO …or pull them down really can’t see the latter happening.
    Another thing to consider is that until the LFO is granted, it will be difficult to sell on. With so many empty properties, it is a buyers market which could deflate prices. It depends upon whether you want the property long term or not.
    You said you are buying it as an off plan re-sale. How can the original owners sell to you without an LFO in place? 😕 Maybe Drakan could answer this. I wonder what his advise would be given your situation.?
    There are many people in a similar position to yourself. You need to trust what your lawyer advises and go with your own gut instinct. Don’t be rushed/pushed into making a decision. I really hope it turns out well for you. 🙂

  • #70015
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    The simple answer is that you CAN sell on ?
    The second is that even if the mayor was corrupt he still gave the planning approval and you aint going to change that.
    As Claire says,trust a good lawyer and talk to people that are owners in the area who are up to date with events.
    If you need a good lawyer that will tell you how it is without running up wasted legal bills,p/m ,me

  • #70016
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @glassman wrote:

    The second is that even if the mayor was corrupt he still gave the planning approval and you aint going to change that.

    What is the Malaya case all about then? Why so many suspended licences?
    Tha answer lies in the word “corrupt” 😉

  • #70017
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Claire wrote:

    You said you are buying it as an off plan re-sale. How can the original owners sell to you without an LFO in place?

    You can sell anything on if you can find a buyer and you don’t withhold material facts. Illegal, in some way or another, resale properties are changing hands every day.

  • #70018
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Presumably, Hillybilly, these would have to be cash buyers as I believe Inez recently posted that banks will not now lend money without seeing the LFO certificate authenticated by the Notary. I am talking about CDS/ Marbella area only and off-plan

  • #70019
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    The water and electricity boards accepts the LFO under administrative silence, otherwise they would not have been prepared to issue private contracts. I believe that the BL will be granted eventually. I can´t see that it won´t happen. Again, this is just my opinion.

  • #70021
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    YES CORRUPT,SHARKS ETC ECT but this is history now and covering the same old ground is getting rather a waste of time.
    No its not cash buyers only (how many properties in Elviria?)
    The people who have bought or are about to buy need now to look at the future and many and in fact the majority will have what they wanted in the first place.
    Going over and over old ground is just helping to depress the market further and is doing no one any good.

    New property owner in Elviria

  • #70022
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Presumably, Hillybilly, these would have to be cash buyers as I believe Inez recently posted that banks will not now lend money without seeing the LFO certificate authenticated by the Notary. I am talking about CDS/ Marbella area only and off-plan

    Some Banks are, maybe with conditions for a particular development but some are.

    Welcome to Elviria, Glassman (nice isn’t it 😀 )

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70023
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I agree Paul,..Elviria is a great location. 🙂

  • #70024
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Paul
    Bloody luv it mate.
    The Banks are starting to come around to the situation but you would only know that if you were in a position to kept up to date.
    See you for a glass or two of wine.or 3. or 4

  • #70025
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Someone mentioned that the developer could go bust. What would happen if he did? During the last recession some friends bought a house on phase one of a development, after some months the banks foreclosed on the developer and because he had mortgaged the whole of the development my friends lost their home. does this not happen now? It was about ten years ago.

  • #70026
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    10 years ago ?

  • #70027
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    bought a house

    Unless the law about ownership (of anything) in Spain is totally different to the rest of humanity. Clearly your friend paid for the property but never checked that there was a mortgage on it and never registered the property in their name at the land registry.

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70028
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Katy,

    Certainly the developers at Green Hills took out mortgages on the individual apartments. Our lawyer showed us the agreement last June on our “ghost” apartment that was never built….but it still existed!!

  • #70029
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi All, glad to see that I have erupted yet another log of comments on this dreadful situation!!
    Yes I agree that we are all going around in circles and getting nowhere. I have had a long conversation with my spanish lawyer his ears must be burning by the time we finished the conversation as I am no longer pleasant with him to say the least!
    The conclusion of the conversation was we need to make a decision asap
    If we wait we will find ourselves in a legal position
    We go to complete and he said that the licence will be legalised at some point ??? hes 100% sure it will eventually. Another option he suggested that we could take over the mortgage from the developer which would be more cost effective saving taxes etc Wonder if the mortgage would be legal!!! He said the Halifax were providing mortgages on the current basis of no licence(if anyone is interested)
    I told him I dont trust anyone in Spain at this present time and feel I have been pushed into a corner! etc etc He went very quiet!
    I guess my only option is to go with completing? Does anyone think I’m been foolish? I dont want to loose my deposit which is a hefty one. I think my options are slim now – complete or be taken to court??
    Help

  • #70030
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    You are always encouraged to take the developers mortgage as the bank supplying it are spreading their risk, ie. taking some of the heat off the developers lump mortgage. It is illegal for you to be charged any extra taxes etc if you choose not to “accept” the developers mortgage.

    Sorry to hear about your situation but I don’t see how they can take you to court for refusing to complete without an LFO. Your lawyer doesn’t sound very helpful to say the least.

  • #70032
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ann

    Yes, you are being foolish, but I understand the position you and all of us are in. I am at the same point you are right now. The problem with completing is unless you intend to enjoy using the apartment and are unconcerned about values then as an investment it is a white elephant – of that there is no doubt. I have a Marbella based professional (unbiased) opinion that Los Lagos could take up to 5 years just to get the value to the amount we paid for it and that’s in good market conditions. Given this to be the case, I would much prefer to get out of the deal – but how? My current lawyer tells me there is a case to take the developer to court for not completing on time and gives me around an 80% chance of success. The problem is I don’t trust the Spanish legal system and am fearful of wasting even more money on this strategy. From information available from other forum members I spoke with another (highly recommended) lawyer who basically said the same thing. I questioned both about the opportunity for us all to come together and take a class action, but am told class actions are not used in Spain!! – Mmm – could this be lawyers preferring to run as many individual cases as possible to increase fees?? Maybe I am too cynical but my experiences have made me this way.

    Both lawyers I spoke with said the development WILL be licensed. The process of licensing will begin after the May election and at worst will take 18 months but likely within a year. This, I believe, has motivated the developer who is now beginning to play hard ball by threatening to cancel the contracts and retain deposits. Lawyers tell me he would be entitled to do this once the development becomes licensed. Like you Ann it seems the only safe option is to complete (foolish as it is) and take the apartment hoping that the stigma of Los Lagos in particular and property values in general improve meaning we make money on the investment instead of losing money. I would be interested to know how other members feel?

  • #70033
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “paulsmith”]

    I questioned both about the opportunity for us all to come together and take a class action, but am told class actions are not used in Spain!! – Mmm – could this be lawyers preferring to run as many individual cases as possible to increase fees?? Maybe I am too cynical but my experiences have made me this way.

    Hi Paul,
    Our lawyer presented a class action (6 cases I think) to the court. The hearing was in Marbella and the judge said every case had to be presented individually! What is possible is for a group of you to negotiate a fee with the one lawyer to act for you all. The information that needs to be collated is basically the same for each of your cases.
    Like Ann, you are between a rock and a hard place! Not a pleasant situation to be in and not when you know in your own mind that the choices left to you, are the not the sensible ones. 🙁 Good luck to you both.

  • #70034
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
    paulsmith wrote:
    I questioned both about the opportunity for us all to come together and take a class action, but am told class actions are not used in Spain!! – Mmm – could this be lawyers preferring to run as many individual cases as possible to increase fees?? Maybe I am too cynical but my experiences have made me this way.
    quote]

    I think we are all cynics on this forum Paul!

    Our development formed a legally constituted Association of Owners which took the developer to court as a joint action.

    The Association of Owners won the case but the developer appealed on the basis that the Association did not have the legal right to take this action. The result of the appeal is pending and has been for almost a year. I understand that is the developer loses the appeal they may further appeal to the supreme court which we are informed could take 5 or more years.

    If we were all planning to live forever it would probably be worthwhile.

  • #70041
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have been unpopular in the past for stating the truth that either people complete or loose their money.
    Any stigma will pass although it is not helped with people on some forums waking up to the fact that you aint going to change the past(Quote Tilly everyone is cynical on these forums)
    With regards to taking 5 years to recover is just an opinion and is one of many that are putting forward their views.
    I think the U.K market will hit trouble this year as I have been informed but there again this agent said that last year
    When corruption hits other areas in Spain and other countries what goes around comes around and Elviria is a lovely area.
    Try to look at the positives as its normal that only the unhappy ones (many investors) look for support on these forums to get themselves off the hook
    The water is not so bad and its only time that will sort things out and no one really knows how long
    Marbella was the place and it will be again and everyone knows this.

  • #70043
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Here, here I will drink to that – some day soon I hope!!!

  • #70045
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Someone mentioned that the developer could go bust. What would happen if he did? During the last recession some friends bought a house on phase one of a development, after some months the banks foreclosed on the developer and because he had mortgaged the whole of the development my friends lost their home. does this not happen now? It was about ten years ago.

    Yeop, this can still happen if you haven’t completed. That’s why the BGs or the IP is so important so as to cover your stage payments in the event of default payment by the developer.

    If in a development the mains companies are reaching private agreements and are hooking up properties to the regular water and electricity company then even if there is no LFO I wouldn’t mind as much that a client completed in such a case. In cases such as with SOFIA where no construction has been done for over years, or they offer me to change to a flat in some other crappy/shoddy development, or they offer me a smaller flat for the same price then I would sue them without a blink for breach of contract.

    I believe it is not the lawyers job to take decisions, that should be left to the client. The client at all times should clearly instruct us, we follow his wishes/commands.

    What a lawyer should do IMHO is to clearly lay out all the options available to the client weighing the pros and cons but actually leaving the client to take the final decision. Every client is different even for the same development, some can afford to wait and some cannot.

    In a development where the mains companies are reaching private agreements and there is no LFO, almost no bank, and specially in Marbella area, will grant you a loan against such a property. You would only have the developer’s bank to take on his mortgage, which in fact is recommendable at times because it cuts costs, but that decision should always be left to the purchaser so he/she shops around for a suitable/competitive mortgage.

    If there is no LFO you are most likely stuck with the developer’s bank. I believe that Halifax studies every case (development) and it’s not a general policy of them to grant loans in Marbella carefree without a LFO.

    As I’ve posted many times within developments that have no LFO there are some which are low-risk and some have a high-risk associated to them (even being pulled down).

    In any case as I’ve always posted once the municipal elections are over and the P.G.O.U. is approved these cases will be legalised. I’m convinced many developments have already been approved but are now on hold until after the municipal elections for political reasons.

    The spanish Authorities know fully well that both tourism and construction are the heart that drives our economy. Believe me that no one is going to pull down all these properties. It will take a couple of years but they will all be legalised eventually. Probably a few (uninhabited I presume) will actually be pulled down for the media, just to show that corruption is being fighted, the vast majority will be legalised and: aquí no ha pasado nada.

    Marbella will remain the crown’s jewel on the CDS on the log run despite this very bad political situation.

  • #70047
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Drakan

    What a great and concise post.

    Thank you

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70048
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Drakan, This is what happened to a number of Spanish purchasers who were offered alternative apartments by SOFIA.

    http://www.revistaelobservador.com/envios/2007 … uidez_.htm

  • #70051
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    …….Drakan said – quote

    ”they offer me to change to a flat in some other crappy/shoddy development, or they offer me a smaller flat for the same price then I would sue them without a blink for breach of contract.”

    that is my situation, but looking at Dorothy’s report, it doesn’t look good for getting justice, even in such a clear cut case of breach of contract as mine. Just depends on my lawyer, the real state of the developers finances/assets, and if the court will make the right decision i guess? The system doesn’t fill me with confidence though!

  • #70052
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hey Glassman are you a stooge for the developer?

    And what’s all this waffle about the UK market – its Spain we are talking about. If you think Los Lagos is going to recover from the stigma any time soon or the Marbella property market is going to get better sufficient to make up negative equity then you are kidding yourself, but not me! We are all in for a long wait.

  • #70053
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Nope . Not a stooge and yep about 3 to 5 years to recover in Marbella.
    Could be longer for Los Lagos than say Santa Maria Villlage as although they are in the same area some wish to shoot themselves in the foot as the two Eralia developments have been singled out as the fall guys.
    You want to loose more money then carry on ?
    No one made you purchase this apartment so cant see what you are moaning about.
    At the worst you made a mistake,live with it.

  • #70054
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Could be longer for Los Lagos than say Santa Maria Village

    Do you really think so, i would say that they are both very different developments. Los Lagos is within walking distance of most things at Elviria. You could actually go without a car and survive very well. I mean hook the ball of the 3rd at Santa Maria and it’s in one of your pools 😀

    As for Green Hills it’s in the middle of nowhere, we walked once from the Golf Club when it was first announced and wow what a walk. About the only thing it’s handy for is the Driving Range.

    Both have great views by the way and i guess green hills looks better but i would say los Lagos will appeal to more buyers long term.

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70055
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Paul
    Each developments have there own merits and in my opinion all great as they are in Elviria (better a tent in a good area than a mansion in the bad)
    Why Santa Maria Village and all of the other developments in this area will do much better is that they have not been subject of the stigma surrounding the Eralia sites (bad news travels fast be it fair or not )
    Santa Village Village have no L.F.Os and completed in the same period but they have a management commitee and rentals and meet up for meetings as far as I am aware.

  • #70056
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi glassman

    I think you will find we are all tared with the same brush, at the moment, no developments in the area have an LFO. There are some apartments selling in all of the developments that are completed and owners have moved in. I think you will find you already have a management committee and i know you have an administration company (we all use the same one) so not long really before things settle down.

    As for prices I bought off plan five years ago and I guess if I wanted to sell quickly i would get about 25% more than I paid for it, so 5% a year. Rubbish really when compared with our home here in the UK, still better than my pension I think 😕

    We have no intention of selling as we and our young children enjoy our time there so much, we’ve made good friends and I’m never short of a game of golf.

    Perfect really

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70057
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @goodstich44 wrote:

    …….Drakan said – quote

    ”they offer me to change to a flat in some other crappy/shoddy development, or they offer me a smaller flat for the same price then I would sue them without a blink for breach of contract.”

    that is my situation, but looking at Dorothy’s report, it doesn’t look good for getting justice, even in such a clear cut case of breach of contract as mine. Just depends on my lawyer, the real state of the developers finances/assets, and if the court will make the right decision i guess? The system doesn’t fill me with confidence though!

    Hi Goodstich44

    Or reach an out-of-court-sttlement as I suggested, this is also a viable option but normally you reach this when you have already started litigation and the court view is on Monday morning and SOFIA phones you on a Friday afternoon to reach an agreement. You have to play hard ball (suing) otherwise they’ll see you as a wimp and call your game off.

    SOFIA is growing desperate with so many lawsuits and are now trying to avoid reaching a court view by means of settlements.

  • #70059
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi P800aul
    Cant agree more mate and by the last count 50,000 + with no L.F.Os its a shame that the Eralia develpments have been singled out but,thats life.
    The bottom line bud and you have summed it up and is in line with my approach as while I may or may not have made much of a profit,I will in time and in the meantime my family and I will enjoy it as we did a couple of weeks back.
    The real ones that have lost is the ones in it for a quick buck(just posted) but on that basis if you dont gamble you dont win (or loose) and its tough luck.
    If everyone else attempts to bring a moor balanced view as we have then theres little problem.
    Those with severe problems or in the event of no build I have every support for
    Meet you for a beer when out next.

  • #70064
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dorothy
    I like Google’s Spanish/English translation of your link.
    One Spanish buyer said:
    “The house was our illusion for when we retired”.

    ‘Illusion’ just about sums it up rather better than ‘dream’ when they don’t even build anything 🙁

    Maybe SOFIA should stand for:
    Screwing Overseas Foreigners, Illusions Abound!

    or to put it another way (round 😉 )

    Abundant Illusions For Overseas SUCKERS

    ……why is it another developer also comes to mind?

    I know, I know, no doubt I will now be accused of being a cynic.
    Prefer to think of myself as a realist because I don’t lose sight of the fact that all developers who obtained their building licences from Mayor Gil that did not comply with the 1986 PGOU plan were obtained by paying him a big fat BRIBE.

    (edited to correct my spelling of abundant…too late at night!)

  • #70067
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Charlie

    i think if you were not a cynic, you would be a mug! As p800aul said, even if you are happy with things, the fact is, if most people had invested money 5 years ago in a U.K property instead of Spain, they would be many thousands of pounds better off than they are now. I know that’s true because i’m one of them! I took a gamble and lost, i’m not to big to admit that, that was the risk i took, and the UK market might have crashed, but no way could i have predicted the level of corruption and lies that has caused so much misery in the way of financial loss to so many people. Cnynical, you bet!!!!!! Having said that, there are i realise, many who are happy with there situation and i realise that all the bad publicity makes them as fed up as those of us that have been screwed, and i do sympathise with their views. Just needs to be better for everyone.

    Drakan

    yes, that’s the way forward for us. We know we are in the right and with the help of a good lawyer, we will fight ’till we get justice, whatever it takes.

  • #70068
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Charlie
    1 Cynical ? Many are and will be for some time so? Yep
    2 Do we know about the corruption ?Yep
    3 Do we know about the sharks ? Yep
    4 Do we know about bribes? Yep
    5 Do we NOW know the situation with regards to L.F.Os after Drakans posting I think we are in a position to make our own informed decision so? Yep

    Can we change the past .Nope ?

    ANY GOOD NEWS OUT THERE ?OR NEWS OF INTEREST ?

  • #70069
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Good News …Yes!!

    More & more people are being awarded THEIR money back + interest from the developers who paid bribes to build illegal developments.! 😀

  • #70071
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Great news ?

    Lets have the details ?
    1 Which developments
    2 What phase of the development ?
    3 How did they get around the problem that hundreds of others are in
    4 What Laywer did they use.
    5 Did they claim against the Bank Guarantee.
    6 Did they win against late completion
    7 Did they win as there was no L.F.O
    8 Did they win as the property was not built as per specification
    9 Did they win as there was no building licence.

    Lets have the evidence then we can really start helping some that are in dire need.
    If we can formulate the answers to even a minor of these questions, no one could ignore us

  • #70072
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Charlie and I have helped many many people with this information long before you joined this and other forums. You would not therefore know that.

    I am not going to divulge details of other peoples private business on this forum.

    As you have completed on your property and other regular readers know of this information I will not repeat it now. I would not give out a lawyers name on a public forum. If new members join and if I can help with any info they require, then I use the private message system, as Ann Kane may confirm.
    The answer to Q1 Green Hills. Q2. Good lawyer.

    Los Lagos. Awaiting Court hearings.

    The answer to your question 6, 7, 9 is yes, and because the building licence is illegal, hence no LFO. Some had BG some not.

    PS Completion is when an LFO is issued by the Town Hall not when the building works are finished

  • #70073
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    glassman – I don’t know about the ‘let’s have evidence’ bit – am afraid you will have to take my word, but I am able to post here that a group of six purchasers who had bought in the lower blocks at Green Hills won a judge’s decision in court in October for monies to be returned with interest.
    Needless to say, the developer immediately appealed – the appeal hearing is in May.

  • #70075
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Charlie
    The point that people join these forums is for help and advice as well as a social thingy
    I do understand the you have to be confidential and we respect that but as it appears you have information that could help so ,many people I am sure they would be very grateful if you could give us further details.
    This way you or we could help 100s more win their case.

  • #70076
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Charlie

    I’m lost here

    I am able to post here that a group of six purchasers who had bought in the lower blocks at Green Hills won a judge’s decision in court in October for monies to be returned with interest.
    Needless to say, the developer immediately appealed – the appeal hearing is in May.

    So am i right in saying you got your money back with interest, that is your money is back in your bank account?

    But these further cases are as quoted above, that is they won but now the developer is appealing?

    I was also told that everyone was offered their money back by the developer but without interest prior to the BG maturing, but some chose to go the court route?

    while i realise that this is about Green Hills this info could help those on Los Lagos make a judgement as to whether they want to go to court or fight it.

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70077
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    When a case is won in Court (as in the cases we are talking about) the bank, in the case of a BG being held by the purchaser, have 10days in which to appeal. If no BG then developer also has the right to appeal. It is a formality.The bank though has to pay the money into the Court as soon as judgement is given and it is held there until the appeal hearing is held.
    This is regardless of whether the property was or was not built. In our case, no property..same procedure. We were awarded deposit + interest + legal fees. Money in the bank.

    Not EVERYONE was offered their money back. Eralia originally offered us our money back.MINUS estate agents fees + their fees = 15% of our deposit!!!!!ie HALF. We did have a BG

    Some people, who could not afford to go to Court (unchartered territory) in case they lost, took their money with no interest, to which they were entitled. This was just on the upper level of Green Hills. One chap I know has only recently got his money back after 3 Court hearings (upper Level) as his Lawyer in Puerto Banus lied to him about him having a BG!

  • #70078
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Claire

    So to summarise:-

    No build level

    Offered money back without interest before BG matured, some took it to court to get interest and won (money back in the bank). Everyone could/should get their money back.

    Built level.

    Some tried to get their money back and won but had their case appealed.

    I’m sorry i don’t know which one (upper or lower) was not built. It is also fair to say the Green Hills should have had a Golf Course (9 hole) built with it (not built), so I do see the why those on the built level would feel aggrieved and want their money back (frankly golf outside your door is not my idea of relaxation 😕 )

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70079
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    claire wrote- quote

    ”Good News …Yes!!
    More & more people are being awarded THEIR money back + interest from the developers who paid bribes to build illegal developments.! ”

    good news?…….I’ll say this is good news, what better news can there be for many people. And why would anyone doubt that (unless they have another agenda?)
    It’s a step in the right direction and a ‘pat on the back’ for anyone who has stood up to the sharks. What a sorry state we would be in if people all gave in and completed without LFO’S, BG’S, breaches of contract etc etc. That’s one of the main reasons they have got away with daylight robbery for so long. By all means let us look to the future in a positive way, but lets face facts and and try to sort out the present mess first.

  • #70080
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @p800aul wrote:

    Claire

    So to summarise:-

    No build level

    Offered money back without interest before BG matured, some took it to court to get interest and won (money back in the bank). Everyone could/should get their money back.

    Correct Paul, although we took our case to Court before the BG date.

    Built level.

    Some tried to get their money back and won but had their case appealed.

    I’m sorry i don’t know which one (upper or lower) was not built. It is also fair to say the Green Hills should have had a Golf Course (9 hole) built with it (not built), so I do see the why those on the built level would feel aggrieved and want their money back (frankly golf outside your door is not my idea of relaxation 😕 )

    Regards

    Upper level was not built and yes originally there should have been an 18 hole Golf Course. Later reduced to 9, then planning was withdrawn altogether for a GC. The biggest problem people have is that 4 years down the line…no LFO.

    Paul

  • #70081
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The bottom line is that if Charlie or Claire or anyone have information that they would kindly share with us regarding the bottom phase of Green Hills with these 6 people that won their case (even though its under apeal )or indeed any that have found a way around the system on any development then this could show the way forward for hundreds of people on both Los Lagos and Green Hills and Elviria in general with possibly people getting all their money back and the properties then being sold to people who want them.
    Totally agree Goodstich44 as we may have a way forward that keeps everyone happy
    Now that is good news.

  • #70082
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    glassman: “This way you or we could help 100s more win their case”.

    Claire and I have helped over 30 people during the last year or so re. their cases, so we are doing the best we can. They are now with our lawyer.
    A lot of the advice and recommended steps forward have been posted here by myself and Claire – but you have basically blasted this advice out of the water, accusing us of spreading doom and gloom (so much for a ‘balanced view of things’ that you keep banging on about).
    We prefer to work quietly behind the scenes for those who are want to listen or genuinely seek help.

    Obviously, as this particular case involving this group with our lawyer is still on-going (because of the appeal), and especially as this case does not involve me personally, I don’t feel I have the right to give more details for obvious reasons – especially as we know the developer reads this forum. See Green Hills thread, first post.

    I can say though that all members of this particular group have a Bank Guarantee.

    Under the guise of Sunbelt on the EOS, you have told us (even though I personally have never posted there!) to P*SS off forums as no-one wants to listen to our ‘outdated’ and ‘doom and gloom’ views.
    So Jim, down there in Torquay, I have no inclination to post more information re. the so-far-successful outcome for the group of lower block GH purchasers than I already have.

    As Claire says, you have completed on GH and are obviously happy sipping your beer on your terrace, so any information will not be pertinent to you. Anyone seriously needing info/help will do what they always do – pm us. It is enough to know that as far as the lower and upper blocks at Green Hills is concerned, it is possible to get a judge to demand that monies should be returned.

    We should obviously agree that we sit on two different sides of the fence – your advice is to complete or lose your money, our lawyer and ourselves simply feel this is not the only option.

    P.S. I note that today you have just been booted off the EyeOnSpain forum for your rude rantings. Time to change to ‘glassman’ over there now 🙄 ?

    Paul – Yes, the no-build of GH’s own 9 hole golfcourse was a disappointment to all of us (a good warm-up course before attacking the biggie!) and was to have been for GH owners only so would never have been over-busy. We were also to have had our own Clubhouse – rather a nice social centre for the development, chance to meet/socialise with fellow purchasers. For us the whole prospect of our own GC/clubhouse was a very positive aspect.
    However, the fact that no golfcourse was going to be a fact came to light quite early – around June 2003, so most of us had a clause written in our contracts that we totally accepted this fact, therefore counteracting any future comeback for themselves.
    Unfortunately, many had lousy lawyers who failed to translate/bothered to tell their clients about this new clause in the contract when it came to signing – and some purchasers only found out at a later date.
    Our original (corrupt) lawyer didn’t tell us either – we only found out via a ‘phone call from a VIVA Estates employee who we had met oneday (we didn’t buy through him, he was just a nice guy), and bothered to ring us to ask if we knew.

    As you know, all the different developments at SMGC have different contracts and are with different ‘companies’. And even though they all relate back to the same parent company – even SMV, it is hard to advise whether what happens in court re. one development could be assumed for another.
    Unfortunately it is also seems that it depends on the judge on the day as to the outcome. One group was turned down by one judge, saying separate cases had to be made, another group’s case was accepted.

    It is all a bit of a nightmare scenario re. what is best to do/recommend – especially in Los Lagos’ case.
    I posted here before that I know of one purchaser at LL whose lawyer negotiated a refund with the developer (based on breach of contract I think) but that was quite a while back before the development was completed – it was just ‘very late’.

  • #70092
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Claire
    All I asked is do you have any information regarding those that had a successful claim against the developer for the bottom phase as I and many others have have an interest in that development as well as Elviria itself.
    My solicitor has replied to me as listed below following my contact with her today

    Hi Jim,

    The only court cases that I know have gone against Green Hills are those for the blocks that have never been built. I know some of them have taken the developer to court because they didn’t get the personal bank guarantees, so that was the only option they had to get their money back.
    Cheers

    As you say we sit on each side of the fence and its clear that anyone on this side is not welcome.
    What is wrong with helping both sides.?
    If I were to have either emailed you or replied to you in the manner you have just posted me ,which has been my mistake then sure enough you would have me banned yet again as its clear that you do have major influence over the forums. and I now have to respect that.
    My views and dozens of others will not change and trust that you will allow me to stay to at least give some support for the residents that want to be heard as well

  • #70093
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    LOOK AGAIN…………………. I DID NOT WRITE THE REPLY, but hey that doesn’t seem to matter does it? 🙄 🙄

  • #70094
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @glassman wrote:

    My views and dozens of others will not change and trust that you will allow me to stay to at least give some support for the residents that want to be heard as well

    Where are all these people you keep talking about? Why do they need support? I thought you were all so very happy at Green Hills:? Anyway let them speak for themselves.

    OR

    Are you referring to the 84 private messages that you have received from members of this forum recently wanting Charlie & I to go ❓ (I’ve phrased it more politely than you did)

    This forum is far greater than Green Hills or Elviria you know….and bigger than Charlie, me or you. Is it all you can talk about?

  • #70095
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi charlie

    It is all a bit of a nightmare scenario re. what is best to do/recommend – especially in Los Lagos’ case.

    I agree a friend of mine (as you know) has been waiting for his lawyer to say it’s OK to sign and now the electricity is on he will complete as he believes, as I think we all do, that one day everyone will have an LFO and be legalised. I can’t believe he will be the only one, many, many owners are waiting for just that. People completing just makes the developers position very strong.

    He’s seen his place and is very happy with it, even though it not the runaway investment he thought it would be. He wanted a bolt hole in the sun for him and his wife and that’s what they’ve got.

    My view for whats it’s worth is that unless you feel really strongly that you have a case for miss-selling (apartment size, spec, position, etc) i would complete. The pain anyone has to go through to go to the courts is immense. Chances given a few years “everything will come out in the wash” and the owners will have enjoyed many a good time there.

    My view anyway

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70096
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I am sorry Claire as the posting was clearly meant for Charlie
    With regards to others that do share my views they are simply not interested as I am in the market or are prepared to stand their ground.
    (thats been my mistake)

    I refer you to one of my many postings that support you both.

    (Previous Posting)
    Please go and carry on the fight as it great to see such passion for people to help each other

    As can be seen I have confirmed that both yours and Charlies contributions are very valuable to many though at times perhaps with little respect for some in different situations.
    The 84 that have sent pms are not all members of this forum as indeed this only represents a few and I think you will find that its from the thousands that just view this forum and observe.
    Yes I totally agree that this forum is bigger than Green Hills/Los Lagos/Eralia ,You Charlie or Me but it does appear that you choose to not include this in most of your postings.
    Costa del Sol has lots of developments with equal or worst problems and perhaps we should balance things out a little
    Hopefully I have not stepped to far with that last paragraph ?
    As it stands,I have not been thrown out of the other forum and your posting on that forum that I have been thrown out of this forum also appears not to be correct
    However I am fully aware that this will change soon unless you agree to let me stay.
    Regards
    Jim

  • #70097
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    P800aul

    Well for many like your freind thats the situation and if he is happy then fine
    With regards to specification I feel that this is an issue that should be covered as while the developers may have had money problems they should on no account be allowed to subsitute from that contracted to do.
    I have heard on some developments that the apartments are smaller than whats on the contract and surely this in itself brings about a claim

    Again only my opinion you understand ???????

  • #70099
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @p800aul wrote:

    He’s seen his place and is very happy with it…..

    My view for whats it’s worth is that unless you feel really strongly that you have a case for miss-selling (apartment size, spec, position, etc) i would complete.

    I think Paul I agree totally with you. Have been thinking since I posted, what would I do if I were in a LL buyer’s shoes? And I think you hit the nail on the head – your friend is very happy with his property, so if he likes it – go for completion. As laggen posted, they are maintaining the gardens etc. well and all is looking nice so really completion seems the way forward – especially with utilities being connected. Have always said I don’t believe that these SMG developments will be pulled down, and if one is prepared to go forward without all the paperwork in place, then do it. As long as one is happy with the end result.

    However, I know of so many buyers of off-plan developments (including those from lower blocks of Green Hills) who are just not happy with the end result, for a variety of reasons. As Goodstich has often posted, his apartment on his particular development is nearly a third smaller than it should be, the pool facilities are not as promised, etc. etc. – and all in all, the question has to be asked:

    “Would I have bought this, if I had known it was going to be like this?”.

    If the answer is no – then I believe the way forward is to look at trying to retrieve your money back.
    I know that I for one, if I had bought in the lower level of GH – there is no way I would want to complete. The two levels with ‘private’ golfcourse in between, clubhouse etc. has been reduced to a block of flats at the bottom of a hill with a load of wasteland behind it. When the golfcourse disappeared from the plans, we were promised beautiful landscaped gardens in lieu. Didn’t seem so bad – then we heard from a reasonable source that the developer sold the land to an Arab for millions for building purposes! When he got permission to build refused (didn’t offer Rocca anything?), he went storming back to the developer to demand his money back! Do not know the future of this land (originally the gc) – but very much doubt the developer is going to spend money on it to create landscape gardens.

    I agree going to court is stressful and peace of mind is worth its weight in gold but ending up with something you don’t really want is not going to make you happy either.

    So I suppose what I’m saying in rather a long-winded way is if you’re happy, go for it. If you’re not, don’t accept second best – fight for your money back.
    After all, you wouldn’t accept a new Jag with skoda wheels -why compromise on one of the biggest purchases one can ever make?
    (apologies to any Skoda salesmen reading this – no offence meant… 😉 ).

  • #70103
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    ……wow, how muddy the waters are!

    seems to be a common thread running through the posts now, that if you are on a development that was completed up to a few months late or that still has no LFO, but is built roughly to contract with a license, and mostly in order, then the chances of getting your deposit back are slim, and may well be looked by the courts as ‘sour grapes’ due to the current climate, or of just trying to get out of gamble that went wrong?

    It looks like, as in our case, you need at least one very serious breach of contract before any hope of justice.

    I think this is still very wrong, if the build time is later than contract or no LFO, how the hell can you be sure that the contract has been adhered before completion, if no LFO is granted? And if you have to complete in the courts eyes, then surely some negotiation on price to reflect the late build time, or possible consiquence of no LFO , should be allowed. I wish for everyone’s sake that an emergency team could be set up sort out the LFO situation, so that a law could be passed that says no LFO, no completion. Anthing else seems to me a gamble that no one should be forced to take, and plays in to the hands of developers.

  • #70105
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Goodstich44

    I think the waters are muddy, but I think they always are when in comes down to the law. As you say “It looks like, as in our case, you need at least one very serious breach of contract before any hope of justice.” I think it increases your chances of getting Justice, Justice is a personal thing surely. What’s good Justice for you will be poor Justice for the developer and vise versa.

    All I’m say is if you’ve got what you want, based on what’s gone before and what is likely to happen, including no LFO and the delay, it is a gamble taking this through the courts. Plus the time, pain, energy and cost in doing so, will mess with your mind for years. Ask anyone that’s been through any sort of litigation, it’s all consuming as a lay person and you have to weigh up the overall value no matter how wronged you feel.

    People come here for advice and in some case comfort that they are doing the right thing, even if it’s wrong, if you know what i mean.

    Just my point of view

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70106
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @p800aul wrote:

    Hi Goodstich44

    I think the waters are muddy, but I think they always are when in comes down to the law. As you say “It looks like, as in our case, you need at least one very serious breach of contract before any hope of justice.” I think it increases your chances of getting Justice, Justice is a personal thing surely. What’s good Justice for you will be poor Justice for the developer and vise versa’.

    I disagree with you that ‘Justice is a personal thing’ – Judges work in a Court of Law to make sure the morally correct decision is made (hopefully!) If a developer loses a case in Court for Illegal Building/bribes etc it’s not ‘poor justice’ for him – it’s retribution. If he wins it’s a miscarriage of justice.

    All I’m say is if you’ve got what you want, based on what’s gone before and what is likely to happen, including no LFO and the delay, it is a gamble taking this through the courts. Plus the time, pain, energy and cost in doing so, will mess with your mind for years. Ask anyone that’s been through any sort of litigation, it’s all consuming as a lay person and you have to weigh up the overall value no matter how wronged you feel’.

    For so many years people have been conned by developers in Spain & been made to feel that going to Court will be a bad decision for them & ‘will mess with their mind for years’! At last people are now showing some steel in their spine & fighting for wrongs to be put right. The more of us who do so, the better.

    People come here for advice and in some case comfort that they are doing the right thing, even if it’s wrong, if you know what i mean.
    Paul

    What is the point of ‘giving comfort’ to someone who knows they are making a wrong decision ❓ ❓
    Sorry to but in on this Goodsitch ❗

  • #70107
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I don´t feel 100% happy having completed, well who would with no LFO and the building licence under investigation! Having thought about it hard and long and with discussions with my lawyer and other advicers it made sense, in my case, to complete. I do feel more positive about it now since we can now have the utilities connected properly. It very much depends on your contract wheter you are in a position to consider a comeback on the developer. I am happy with the apartment and also that the development is being looked after. It does feel a bit like a ghost town at this time of year, but last summer there were quite a few people around. It is a very personal thing how you want to proceed, but for me it felt like the right decision.

  • #70109
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Suzanne

    What is the point of ‘giving comfort’ to someone who knows they are making a wrong decision

    Because they are trapped between a rock and a hard place and who’s to say it’s the wrong decision. The general view is that Los Lagos will turn out OK in the end. The alternative is to say no LFO I’m not going to complete and start legal proceedings to get the deposit back. Meanwhile the LFO arrives the Judge says the delay was reasonable and they lose the case. Some would say don’t complete without an LFO so therefore we are giving comfort for (some would say) the “wrong” decision.

    See laggen’s post he feels he’s taken the right decision, he’s taken all the advice he can and I for one agree with him I would complete if I was in his shoes, hopfully offering him some (small) comfort as he doesn’t feel 100%.

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70110
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello Paul,
    I understand what you are saying – some are in a very bad situation & really don’t know what to do.

    I am taking the developer to Court (not Los Lagos) after over a year’s delay, no garden where there should be one etc., etc., plus before completion I discovered the ‘Licence’ is illegal, & apt. on greenbelt land. The developer was arrested last summer & now out on bail for bribary in Malaya Case. He is still insisting the licence is legal, when in fact it has been revoked by the town hall, and people are still being pressurized by the company to ‘complete or lose their £’. My previous lawyer was as corrupt as the developer he was working with & giving me bad & incorrect advice – that was when he condescended to communicate with me.

    I think it would be a very grave mistake to continuing doing any kind of business with these people & any others like them. So long as people are being worn down by them they will carry on as usual. I know that I may be unlucky and get a corrupt judge in Court (can it get any worse?) but it’s a risk I’m willing to take & fight with.
    Regards, Suzanne

  • #70111
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Suzanne

    Well in your case I also agree, as it would be what i would do.

    regards

    Paul

  • #70112
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @p800aul wrote:

    The alternative is to say no LFO I’m not going to complete and start legal proceedings to get the deposit back. Meanwhile the LFO arrives the Judge says the delay was reasonable and they lose the case.

    Hi Paul,
    If an LFO comes in after Court proceedings have begun against a developer then this cannot/should not be taken into account retrospectively. It should have no bearing on the case . A good Lawyer would appeal against it if it did happen.

    This question was put to the Spanish lawyer when we had a meeting in London with around 40 people from GH & LL present and it was pertinent to many of them.

  • #70113
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Claire

    It should have no bearing on the case

    Hmmmmm!

    Personally not advice i would take, law is down to president and interpretation and i would need a lot of convincing that going to court for a refund because of no LFO would not be compromised if the LFO was granted while the case was coming to court.

    Again this is only my view

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70114
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    That’s where trust in your lawyer comes into play. At the end of the day . it’s the clients decision.

  • #70116
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    it’s the clients decision.

    My point exactly

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70117
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    it all sounds one sided to me, if one is expected to complete in some cases, with no LFO, or a late build time, with no negotiation on price built in, where is the justice? Why shouldn’t that person be allowed to force terms outside the contract in the same way the developer seems to be allowed to get away with the late build time/no LFO? Why shouldn’t that person be able to say, o.k i’ll complete, i’ll pay you in 6 months if thats o.k., oh and by the way, i’ll pay you £10.00 a week as well.

    I know that’s the way it is, and some have no real choice, but it’s just not justice, or acceptable in my opinion.

  • #70118
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi goodstich44

    it all sounds one sided to me

    That’s my experance of contracts and terms and conditions of sale. Check your mobile telephone contract or credit card terms. 😥

    You can say “i’m not going to sign” they say OK don’t have it.

    I don’t even know if you can challenge an unfair contract clause in Spain like you can in the UK.

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70119
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Goodstitch,

    Use your lawyer to answer your quieries about illegal clauses. We have a lawyer with a proven track record on litigation cases with large development companies. We have learned a great deal from him and he is always willing to answer our questions.

  • #70120
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think we all have to honest that firstly the top phase of Green Hills would have benefited everyone, however its not. HOWEVER I HAVE HEARD ?
    Same as the corruption case which has brought about all of these dreadful problems. however its happened and we can only look forward
    The waste land left is simply land that was supposed to be phase 1 and like the no golf course appears only to concern those that have no interest in this development.
    Just had a call from the neighbour in the next block and he tells me that he is still looking out over the cork woodland out towards the sea (much the same as the brochure) and the hill side to the rear is slowly growing back.
    The gardens are immaculate and the pools lovely and is just as promised
    Same report from the owners of Santa Maria Village which is in the same valley as they also have no L.F.Os and they to in the main seem happy.
    Have to say much like the pictures on my computer for anyone to see so as to put their minds at rest
    Comments like I wouldn’t want to buy something or I would want my money back should is completely irrelevant for anyone to post if it’s nothing to do with them (OTHERWISE SURELY THIS HAS NO BENEFIT OTHER,THAN TO NEEDLESSLY DAMAGE PROPERTY OWNERS BOTH PRESENT AND IN THE NEAR FUTURE)
    As it was only a few weeks back that it was quoted as saying “Only an idiot would complete without an L.F.O”on this forum which was clearly an off the cuff statement which is proving to now being retracted as is the comments made regarding Los Lagos.(more to follow I fear)
    As I have daily contact with a very good friend who is a solicitor in Elviria looking after clients in this area ever day and being a property owner on this development with neighbours I think I am as shown in the past am in a far better position than those with no interest at all to pass comment or to put records straight.
    Some of the guys are now doing what they should do and sitting down with their solicitors who in turn are advising on case by case basis.
    I fear that those with properties on both of these developments will look back in anger that they have been subject to the bad press(.mostly though this forum) while it has chosen to ignore the problems involving dozens of other developments
    This stigma will remain for years and ask myself just who has benefited?
    Please dont say the people that have been helped to date as this is only a fraction of the damaged caused.

  • #70121
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    glassman

    bad press mostly though this forum

    I’m all for the balanced view but i think you overestimate the power of this forum and underestimate the corruption. The evidence of the instability the obvious corruption has caused is clear to see up and down the CDS, and i think is set to continue for several years to come.

    Yet I am happy with our apartment in Elvira despite this (balanced view you see 😉 )

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70122
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @glassman wrote:

    The waste land left is simply land that was supposed to be phase 1 and like the no golf course appears only to concern those that have no interest in this development.

    glassman is wrong. Nearly all amongst the 30+ purchasers I know from the lower blocks, and who are going to court to retrieve their money back, have told me they feel the same as I do i.e. great disappointment that the general concept of the whole original development has been lost because of no golfcourse/gardens/upper blocks/clubhouse with the whole lot security gated, providing a nice community. “Just a block of flats at the bottom of a hill” in fact were originally their words, not mine.
    Am afraid therefore he is not speaking for all lower block purchasers with his views.

    @glassman wrote:

    Comments like I wouldn’t want to buy something or I would want my money back should is completely irrelevant for anyone to post if it’s nothing to do with them (THIS HAS NO BENEFIT OTHER THAN TO THE SELF INTEREST OF ANYONE WHO MADE IT).

    An example of glassman slipping back into his “sunbelt” mode of putting down any opinions that do not concur with his own – and remember where that ended up.
    To quote him, let’s allow “fair and balanced opinions on this forum” – and I was only stating mine. As he mentions “self interest” I would perhaps question his in trying to persuade other purchasers at l/b Green Hills to complete. Am afraid there are many who simply don’t want to – so he just should just respect that.
    Let me remind him this is a forum – and everything has to do with everybody if they wish to voice an opinion (as long as it is legally correct), and it is not for him to say their views are “irrelevant” or otherwise.

    @glassman wrote:

    As it was only a few weeks back that it was quoted as saying “Only an idiot would complete without an L.F.O”on this forum which was clearly an off the cuff statement…….

    Actually the phrase used was “it is insane” to complete without an LFO.
    And this was not an off the cuff statement, it happens to be a quote of Drakan’s viewpoint – the lawyer that contributes to this forum.
    (He qualified that by the way, saying in certain situations he might recommend a client to complete without an LFO if there is only something minor like a problem drainpipe, but certainly not on a property with an illegal status such as Green Hills).

    @glassman wrote:

    As I have daily contact with a very good friend who is a solicitor in Elviria looking after clients in this area ever day and being a property owner on this development with neighbours I think I am as shown in the past ( 😯 ) am in a far better position than those with no interest at all to pass comment or to put records straight.

    He and his solicitor have their opinions, we and our solicitor have ours.
    Personally, I mainly comment on Green Hills because it is with this development I became financially involved in, this development I discussed/researched at the Land Registry as well as with the people in the Planning Department at Marbella Town Hall. I wonder if he has ever sat down with any of these people himself?
    In a far better position to pass comment or put records straight? I doubt it.

    @glassman wrote:

    …..it (this forum) has chosen to ignore the problems involving dozens of other developments

    Wrong again. Dozens of different developments and their problems are discussed here on SPI (suggest he does a little homework and scrolls through other threads). Even a development that he was involved in (La Reserva) has dozens of pages contributed, including from him himself.

    @glassman wrote:

    This stigma will remain for years and ask myself just who has benefited?
    Please dont say the people that have been helped to date as this is only a fraction of the damaged caused.

    He’s lost me on that one.

    I stand by my last post.
    IMO if people are happy with the finished product, accept the fact there is no LFO and decide to complete despite the necessary papers not being in place – then that is what they should do. I respect their decision because they feel it is the right thing for them.

    On the other hand, if purchasers are not happy with the end result for whatever reason, be it the property itself or its (lack of) legal standing, and want their money refunded by going to court, it is their legal right to do so.
    AND THEIR DECISION SHOULD ALSO BE RESPECTED.

  • #70125
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    P800aul
    Hi Paul
    Think its fair to say that these two developments do come in for more than their fair share of flack (not seen many for the Santa Maria next door)etc etc
    Charlie splitting hairs between idiot or insane to complete is hardly here or there and refer you to Drakans most recent posting with regards to L.F.Os
    and the recent members who have also completed (not because of a pipe missing).
    As I have said it would have been great if the upper block had been completed as I fee everyone would be happy(well not everyone but most)
    I am amazed if their are only 30 that are not happy as if I were to look at this forum with the inaccurate and out of date postings and were not in the position as stated in my previous posting I to would want my money back( thousands of off plan purchasers do mainly investors etc on dozens of sites)Charlie you HAD? an interest and WE HAVE an interest and you should understand that that as this and surely is now our business and if you choose to post regarding Eralia developments all many wish is that we please have a more moderate and understanding of everyone’s situation.
    Indeed as the developers grow stronger with people completing the time surely has come when we have to consider either sides or this forum will just die leaving just bitter and twisted minds
    With regards to sitting down with planners is irrelevent,as I leave that to people that understand all the issues like my solicitor.
    There is no right or wrong side for people like me who are in various situations with regards to making there own difficult decisions, these people need to be able to fully consider their options just like me and now increasing in numbers.
    Which ever way you look at it all the postings end up coming back to this one or two developments and what’s the purpose ?
    Why not put your overall knowledge of the Costa del Sol to a more moderate view point and if you want to help this I am sure would benefit many .
    Thankfully your continued comments of what you think of this development and reality can easily be settled and I put this to you ?
    I be allowed to post MY pictures of my apartments and the development with the surrounding area and let everyone just make their own minds up as to who is in the better position IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE . YES OR NO ?
    Regards to you
    Jim

  • #70126
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Jim

    Everyone here has a view and this is a forum. Quite often I agree with others here, at other times I do not, after all it’s a forum everyone is allowed to express their view (with certain caveats). Some on this forum have been badly wronged by Eralia, and i do not blame them for taking every opportunity to tell their story. It is not over for many of them, they still are trying to get their money (and sense of justice) back.

    You are happy (i mistaken thought that you where in Los Largos 😳 ) and I am happy for you, some are not happy and feel they should warn others of problems they could encounter. I agree that everyone should be able to do this as it offers the balanced view 🙂

    A split hair to me could be miles apart to you, it is possible to respect your view, while disagreeing with your interpretation. There is no clear cut solution to these issue, owners and property buyers are the ones stuck in the middle and just because I am happy doesn’t help those that are not (but may help those undecided).

    I think a balanced view is called for, Claire, Charlie and I have crossed swords a time or two but, hopefully they will agree, we respect each others view and allow each to express it openly, without fear of a flame war (most of the time anyway 😆 )

    By the way the thread is about Los Lagos and we should get back to it, if we have more to say.

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70127
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Sorry to continue off topic but I often walk past Greenhills and Santa maria Village and there is never anyone there it looks abandoned. Only about 5 seems to have any window blinds/curtains

  • #70128
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think a balanced view is called for, Claire, Charlie and I have crossed swords a time or two but, hopefully they will agree, we respect each others view and allow each to express it openly, without fear of a flame war (most of the time anyway 😆 )

    I agree Paul ( most of the time anyway 😉 )

    Claire

  • #70129
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @p800aul wrote:

    Personally not advice i would take, law is down to president and interpretation and i would need a lot of convincing that going to court for a refund because of no LFO would not be compromised if the LFO was granted while the case was coming to court.

    Paul – I think this is an interesting point that may benefit a comment from a legal source. The may be some people interested as it may affect their confidence in starting a case.
    I must admit, like Claire, I have always been under the impression that if a case has been brought and in the meantime there is a change of situation (eg a LFO is suddenly issued) it does not/cannot influence the case. Am always happy to stand corrected though – Drakan/Maria, your advice needed!

    * I do know that if you murdered someone and were in prison waiting for trial (where the sentence would be ‘life imprisonment’ if found guilty), and while you’re waiting – the law changed to capital punishment, they can’t hang you! The court can only punish you with a sentence that was valid at the time you commited the act.
    On reflection, maybe that example has nothing to do with the price of potatoes…… 🙄

    @P800aul wrote:

    I think a balanced view is called for. Claire, Charlie and I have crossed swords a time or two but, hopefully they will agree, we respect each others view and allow each to express it openly, without fear of a flame war.

    Exactly – it’s called an ‘adult debate’. 😉

  • #70130
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Charlie

    * I do know that if you murdered someone and were in prison waiting for trial (where the sentence would be ‘life imprisonment’ if found guilty), and while you’re waiting – the law changed to capital punishment, they can’t hang you! The court can only punish you with a sentence that was valid at the time you commited the act.
    On reflection, maybe that example has nothing to do with the price of potatoes……

    To make your analogy work for me the murdered person would have to come back to life before the would be murderer went to trial.

    if you see what i mean.

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70132
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    That will teach me to bring up the price of potatoes ….. 🙁

  • #70133
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Charlie, where were you when the LFO question was asked at the London meeting??? 😉

  • #70134
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Paul
    I agree my ole mucker and just a balanced view will be fine by me.
    Katy
    Yeh the developments all around and including Green Hills/Santa Maria Village/Los Lagos/La Reserva do all look deserted and seem in some kind of limbo and its really sad.
    Going to take some while I fear but areas that were refused planning will either grow back or as I have heard may get planning when everything settles
    Think the developers have simply run out of money to complete the works and went to La Reserva last week and saw a prime example.
    Think the world is just sitting and watching at the moment.
    As Paul and some of the others have decided to complete.like myself the situation is far from ideal buts its just a case of us getting on with it and just feel that we have to take everyones considerations into play.

    Regards to you all
    Jim

  • #70135
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I agree with your post Jim. 😯 😉

  • #70146
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Claire
    Appreciated
    Regards
    Jim 😆

  • #70149
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Suzanne
    Hopefully with good solicitor you may get this settled out of court as I am aware that they may? wish to get the genuine claims out of the way for obviuos reasons.

    Regards
    Jim
    Part owner. Los Gardens.? Have to laugh or I will cry.

  • #70151
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Errrr, what happened to your last post of yesterday Jim? I’ve had no internet connection ’til now. I thought it was a really sensible post, but I was unable to use the internet last night/this morning. 😕
    One piece of information I have is that last Friday there was a conference in Marbella about the illegal licences situation. Did anyones lawyer attend? Any EAs out there who attended? (or was it just for lawyers?) Our lawyer did attend.

  • #70154
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Claire
    Just thought it best to remove it.
    I will check with my solicitor as this meeting may prove useful
    Regards
    Jim

  • #70366
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Charlie

    with regards to your point about retrospectively applying something after an event (ie in this case an LFO when you are taking the developer to court) I had a situation similar (of sorts.)

    About 3 years ago I rented out my apartment to tenants. They paid for one month and one month deposit then didn’t pay anything. I got 3 months of story after story telling me how they would pay next week. In the end I took them to court at a cost of €1,000, for non payment of rent

    One day before the due date they paid in full. The judge basically said that as they had already paid there was no case to answer. in my opinion it doesnt matter that they had paid it was the fact that I had to take them to court in order for them to pay.

    Not quite the same as an LFO but the principle is the same

    Regards

    Vince

  • #70368
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    We bought some bank repossesions in spain 1995. The bank had to go to court one final time and we were told if the mortgagees paid up to that date they would be allowed to keep the properties. they didn’t of course as the value of the properties had dropped by about 40% so they were cutting their losses.

    So, could that happen with an LFO? eg. FLO is granted a few days before someones court case, would it not then proceed?

  • #70375
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    In the case of Los Lagos the developers are in breach of contract. Because of the length of time these cases are taking to be heard, the world could end before a judgement is made! 😉
    Just thinking that if an LFO is granted before a case gets to Court, then presumably the litigants would be asked whether or not they wish to continue with the case or complete on the property. It’s all new territory I guess as until a year or so ago these problems were not out in the open.
    Our lawyer thinks that it will be a approx 1 year maybe more before an LFO is issued to Los Lagos. That’s just his opinion.

  • #70381
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Vince

    I thought this question was quite an interesting point of law, so thanks for resurrecting it. Until I read your and Katy’s stories, I thought I was sure of the answer but now I am not. 😕

    So if any of the legal eagles are out there could you clarify this point where, if a case has been brought say for breach of contract (no LFO/BL) and in the meantime there is a change of situation (eg a LFO/BL is suddenly issued), does it/can it affect the case?

    By the way I thought your situation was totally unjust – think you should have at least received some form of compensation for not only making you wait for your money but also wasting your and the court’s time. Am surprised the judge didn’t penalise them for at least that.

  • #70384
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Charlie

    Well it would have been nice to have just got my money back from the court, but it appears that wasting court time is a pastime with no repurcussions. But hey ho I am just glad that they decided to move out because “I was hassling them all the time” with the Buro faxes. (I wouldnt have done of course had they paid any money when they were suppsoed to).

    Thanks goodness I didnt have people with nerves of steel otherwise I might still be waiting for them to leave. Even tried to disconnect electricity before being told that of I didnt supply them I would be taken to court (even though I was paying for it and they werent paying me)

    Anyway an avenue best not travelled methinks

    Goodnight and God Bless

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